Relates to permitting requirements for children's camps.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to single-purpose day camps
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To amend the definition of "summer day camp" to include camps dedicated to a single activity that meets the criteria of a non-passive recreational activity with significant risk of injury.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Section one amends subdivision two of section 1392 of the public health law to clarify that the definition of "summer day camp" includes camps which engage in any indoor or outdoor organized group activities involving one or more non-passive recreational activities with significant risk of injury. Section one also provides that the commissioner is not permitted to grant an exception from the public health law and sanitary code requirements to a summer day camp which is dedicated to a single activity if that activity meets the criteria of a non-passive recreational activity with significant risk of injury.
Section two provides that this act shall take effect April 1, 2014.
JUSTIFICATION: As currently written, the definition of "summer day camp" does not include camps dedicated to a single activity, such as a football camp. Instead, the law states that a summer day camp must involve "non-passive recreational activities with significant risk of injury," which has been interpreted as requiring at least two such activities. As a result, camps which are dedicated to only one non-passive recreational activity with significant risk of injury are completely unregulated. These single-purpose camps are subject to neither the health and safety requirements in Article 13-B of the public health law, nor to the regulations governing summer day camps in the sanitary code.
There are many single-purpose camps in which children engage in activities with a substantial risk of serious injury. For example, the New York Times recently published an article about the increasing popularity of carpentry and woodworking camps entitled "Kindergarten Shop Class."(1) In these camps, children use power tools, including saws to create their projects. A more common example of a single-purpose summer day camp is a football or hockey camp, which poses a significant risk of injury due to the contact nature of the sport.
This legislation will close the loophole in the current law to ensure that children attending all summer day camps are protected.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S4615-A - Health
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect April 1, 2013.
FOOTNOTE: (1) Scelfo, Julie. "Kingergarten Shop Class."March 30, 2012.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1015 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. LIBOUS -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to single-purpose day camps THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 1392 of the public health law, as amended by chapter 439 of the laws of 2009, is amended to read as follows: 2. "Summer day camp" shall mean a property consisting of a tract of land and any tents, vehicles, buildings or other structures that may be pertinent to its use, any part of which may be occupied on a scheduled basis at any time between June first and September fifteenth in any year by children under sixteen years of age under general supervision, for the purpose of ANY indoor or outdoor organized group activities, involv- ing ONE OR MORE nonpassive recreational activities with significant risk of injury, as such activities are defined by the department in rules and regulations, for a period of less than twenty-four hours on any day the property is so occupied, and on which no provisions are made for over- night occupancy by such children. The commissioner shall have the power to except by rule from this article and the sanitary code a place, facility or activity that is not within the intent of this definition, PROVIDED THAT NO EXCEPTION MAY BE GRANTED TO A SUMMER DAY CAMP WHICH IS DEDICATED TO A SINGLE ACTIVITY IF THAT ACTIVITY MEETS THE CRITERIA OF A NONPASSIVE RECREATIONAL ACTIVITY WITH SIGNIFICANT RISK OF INJURY. S 2. This act shall take effect April 1, 2014.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD04908-01-3